The Importance of Identifying Signs of Mind Control
Awareness helps protect you from falling under mind control and can help you get out of it (by connecting directly to Hashem in your own Divinely imbued unique way).
- We've all see frum people who connect to a frum lifestyle as a cult and not as the beautiful spiritual system that it is—a system which enables you to fulfill the mission Hashem put you here for in the first place.
- The unwavering adherence to obviously irrational, unproven, inconsistent, or just plain wrong beliefs within general Western society can only be the result of mind control.
- The attraction to avodah zara systems like yoga by otherwise sincere and intelligent frum people or Buddhism by secular Jews indicates the influence of mind control (i.e., people leaving one mind-control system for another).
- Even positive behaviors, like healthy eating, are often done in a mind-control way.
- For comparison, the Kli Yakar discusses here about how to give the benefit of the doubt in an authentically Torah way and not the sometimes harmful manner encouraged by frum American idealists.
- Hava haAharona gives several examples here of individuals searching for an identity in a way that clearly shows people chafing under mind control, but who merely choose another cult to join instead of liberating their minds completely.
When you realize that someone is under mind control, it is easier to relate to them with the necessary combination of compassion, self-protection, and objectivity.
It is also a hopeful outlook because you can see how the real person underneath is good and full of wonderful potential, and able to express their true self if they could just free themselves from "the cult."
This is an alternative to seeing someone as mentally ill or Erev Rav or personality disordered or dysfunctional or addicted or bad, etc.
But now for the main question:
Why do so many people—even frum people—behave as if under mind control?
|You can’t resist (or heal from) what you don’t see.
- Even among frum communities, you see people getting sucked in by certain aspects of mind control from their surrounding Galut society. Because they are immersed in that society and presented a form of Yiddishkeit based on that society, it's hard to see what's "behind the curtain."
- The other issue is that people who grew up in secular Western society are used to mind control; it feels “right.”
Studies show that people who leave a situation of mind control (whether it be a cult or an abusive relationship or a dysfunctional family) are vulnerable toward falling into another situation of mind control (sources at end of post).
- A person leaving a cult is more likely to end up in an abusive relationship or workplace.
- A person from a dysfunctional family or after a recent break-up from an abusive relationship is more susceptible to the advances of a cult.
- Due to having spent an entire life under mind control within Western society (and perhaps within a religious cult), baalei teshuvah, converts, and bnai Noach are at risk for choosing an emotionally unhealthy rav or rebbetzin.
Most people need to learn to relate to God—and if you're Jewish, also to Judaism—in an authentically Jewish way and not in a way based on Western mind control.
When Tova Mordechai (To Play with Fire: One Woman's Remarkable Odyssey) describes her move from Raymond Webster's Christian cult to Torah Judaism, this wonderful Jewish woman unconsciously took the cult-instilled habits with her: denying her own needs, pleasing others at all costs, and operating at full-speed all the time.
As she herself says:
"I was still running on Raymond Webster's gas." (pg. 429)
Even the cult's value system unintentionally infiltrated her Jewish values at first.
"I had no idea that having a baby was what God wanted from me....I was ignorant and heavily brainwashed. This was not Raymond Webster's vision. Children were a hindrance to God's call on a person's life. They took up time, energy, and resources and did not give in return. And so, about two weeks after giving birth to our first child, I was back at work....it was simply because I needed to work in order to be acceptable before God." (pg. 424)
Later, when Tova becomes overwhelmed and enraged from the lack of vitality (which had been drained by the cult), the grueling transformation from a Christian hyper-zombie to a fully Orthodox Jew, and then the cultural adjustment to Israeli life along with the normal adjustments to marriage and becoming a mother, Tova says:
"I was deeply exhausted: body, soul and mind....I should have spoken up. I should have discussed the situation with my husband. I could have done many things, but I was too well-trained by Raymond Webster. Mine was just to do or die." (pg. 429)
For a long time, I researched personality disorders, mental illness, spiritual disorders (Erev Rav, etc.) etc. in search of the following things:
- an understanding of what was going around me
- behaviors or hashkafot I myself had gotten sucked into, even though they went against what I knew to be right.
- something in modern English terms that describes what Chazal has already noted.
Personality disorders or mental illness or bad middot or Erev Rav, for example, did not fully explain what I was seeing. For example:
- good, intelligent people making consistently bad decisions
- decent people with sincere intentions deteriorating into dysfunctional states.
- people who were sincerely struggling and desperately seemed to want help, who also who demonstrated "windows of sanity” and compassion and self-awareness, and couldn't be written off as personality disordered, bipolar, schizophrenic, Erev Rav, addicted, etc.
- my own experience of feeling manipulated or treated as hopeless or worthless by "rabbis" or "rebbetzins"—and seeing others go through the same thing
The above really don’t line up with personality disorders or mental illness or Erev Rav, even though such people may otherwise fit most of the checklist temporarily while they remain in a state of mind control.
Also, personality disorders are mostly impossible to cure. They are people to whom you really can't give the benefit of the doubt as their intentions are always, well, narcissistic (particularly malignant narcissists & covert aggressives who consciously mean to hurt you).
Labels like "personality disorder" or "mentally ill" or "Erev rav" or "nebbuch" ("Just feel sorry for them!") or "addict" also didn’t fit as I saw some seemingly personality disordered people come out of it and even develop into special spiritual people—without therapy, I might add.
Furthermore, there was definitely a logic to people's dysfunctional reactions—which again, is much more characteristic of how people respond while oppressed in a cult.
|You can deal with people (including doing teshuvah on yourself) more effectively when you relate to them as a victim of some form mind control.
- Following mainstream halacha and classic mussar not only prevents mind control, but actually rescues people from a state of mind control. But only by really following it, and not just doing only whatever your community or group gives lip service to or emphasizes.
- Much of the halachic and mussar literature regarding practical action and one's attitude toward people behaving dysfunctionally (ie. committing transgressions) is excellent guidance on how to deal with someone in a cult or under mind control.
- The real person in all their God-given glory is still there underneath the mind control and CAN be accessed, but it takes patience and prayer.
|Yes, there ARE Erev Rav, Narcissists, Sociopaths, Mental Illnesses, Addicts, etc. However...
...however, when I really looked into things, I was seeing very little of what could be defined that way; such behavior seemed mostly characteristic of mind control.
Even people who behave in a consistently dysfunctional manner often do so in a way that is similar one under mind control, and not as a classic Narcissist, sociopath, manic-depressive, Erev Rav, addict, etc.
There is no doubt in my mind that Western society has become one big cult.
This post focuses on America because:
- Being an American, I know the more about it than I do about, say, England or Australia.
- American society and culture is so well-known.
- Via the entertainment industry in all its forms (books, movies, TV, etc.), America has managed to spread its new cultural mores throughout the world more than any other culture.
And American-style mind control is also evident in all other Western cultures, including Israel (although Israel’s religious population gives some pushback).
Before this post goes into an examination of Western mind control, let’s skip to a glimpse of what it’s like to leave a cult.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LEAVE A CULT?
“Ex-believers may feel doubly misunderstood and isolated. Family and friends who remain in the group, even when not overtly rejecting a former member, are likely to have limited tolerance for the views of someone who has repudiated beliefs that they continue to hold sacred.”
This very much describes the situation of many baalei teshuvah, converts, and bnai Noach. In fact, regular people who make only one change after becoming fully informed, such as switching from a pro-abortion position to a pro-life position, experience rejection and limited tolerance from Leftist/Liberal family and friends.
“Authoritarian groups undermine trust in one’s own judgment, and the former member may have a great deal of difficulty in knowing how to regard his/her experience of reality when it is no longer defined and regulated by the group’s teachings. Many feel a sense of despair in being unable to recapture the certainty that came with unquestioning faith in ‘sure and certain’ dogma.”
And so, the desperation of many baalei teshuvah to cling to a rav and/or rebbetzin for advice and non-halachic guidance.
(Note: People, especially the newly frum, need basic halachic guidance. But advice-based non-halachic guidance? That is a very tricky and complex minefield.)
“Having been well-trained in meeting demands that s/he conform to group expectations, the former believer may be very adept at unconsciously meeting the perceived expectations of others.”
This is where the danger lies.
While emuna-based observance of Torah is NOT like that, it is easy to run into people who relate to Judaism in a cult-like fashion and innocently encourage others to do the same.
Remember: Most cult members are recruited by fellow victims who sincerely believe that they are enlightened—and not brainwashed—and that their cult’s doctrine is The Right Way.
Unfortunately, well-meaning kiruv programs and chinuch classes can unintentionally adapt some mind control techniques (without actually fulfilling all cult criteria) in the misguided assumption that this is desired or permitted by halacha. It doesn’t make them an actual cult, but it can lead to effects similar to that of cults, especially on vulnerable people.
Yet anyone who makes a sincere and continuous effort to connect with Hashem via speaking to Hashem, making a self-accounting via honest self-introspection, and adherence to halacha will not fall prey to mind control tactics AND if already under mind control, such a person will be able to free him or herself from the mind control.
As you read through this post (organized according to the BITE model), you may notice that cultist mind control is also the same dynamic you’ve seen in abusive relationships, dysfunctional families, personality disorders, and toxic work environments.
Yes, it’s all basically the same.
For example, a cult forces sleep deprivation upon its adherents.
And toxic work environments and abusive spouses do the same.
The withdrawal and recovery are also basically the same process.
So what are facets of mind control used by cults and modern society?
It is very hard to keep genetically modified corn products, hormones, sugar, chemicals, fluoride, and food additives out of your diet. VERY hard. It’s almost impossible. This is despite clear evidence that some of the above is actually harmful and indicative evidence that the rest of it might be harmful to both your physical health and your mental health.
|TV and Movies
TV programming and movies are always based on secular liberal, Leftist values.
Even the occasional piece which seems to present a conservative ideal will still be surrounded by lots of secular Leftist propaganda.
For example, the rare anti-abortion theme will still have a pro-same-gender marriage theme and pro-premarital intimacy theme.
Or a pro-belief-in-God piece will be soaked with rampant violence or licentious behavior.
I remember a very popular TV show in which not wanting to drink chocolate milk from a straw covered with the saliva of a boy diagnosed with AIDS was presented as the callous act of an ignorant fraidy cat.
Yet what is wrong with wanting to take extra precautions against a disease that is incurable and 100% fatal? No way! the episode implied. That’s mean!
|Books, Newspapers, and Magazines
The above is also true of books.
And while I have obviously not read every single book published in my lifetime (the Seventies until now), I can say that I have never read a mainstream best seller in any genre that was anti-same-gender marriage or pro-life or anti-premarital intimacy, etc.
For example, if atheists are mentioned, it is always in a neutral or positive way. Atheists are never presented the way that say, religious Christians are often presented (i.e. hypocritical buffoons or abusive manipulators AND in a way that connects to their belief system).
In fact, same-gender relationships are the big thing right now.
Even sites and organizations dedicated to children’s literature discuss the importance of writing characters with same-gender parents, pushing books with titles like Lisa has Two Daddies.
Editors and literary agents actively seek such books and the Wix website-builder has a photo of two twentysomething women for their Wedding site template with the blurb: “Zoe and Amelia are getting married!”
Or on their template for wedding invitations, the header “Keith and Aaron” floats above the heads of two geeky-looking guys in tuxedos.
Twitter’s welcome slideshow features one male soccer player cuddling his head against another male soccer player and kissing his cheek. Because, of course, male sports pros tend to be so cuddly and nurturing. It must be all that testosterone!
There is an obvious agenda to make same-gender marriage and families headed by two mommies or two daddies as the norm, even though statistics just don’t support that.
(If under 3.5% of the population is attracted to its own gender, how many families or weddings do you think they produce? And how many children really grow up with two parents of the same gender?)
On the other hand, statistics show that unwed motherhood is extremely common.
(This is despite the fact that while divorce may not be avoidable, unwed motherhood is usually preventable.)
Really, based on statistical need alone, children’s book publishers should focus on flooding the market with books like, Oliver has One Mommy along with Sporadic Men who Temporarily Come to Live with Mommy or Isabella has One Mommy and Only God Knows Who Her Daddy Is.
All joking aside, figuring in the amount of divorced parents and unwed parents, many children are not living with both parents and may even have no father-figure at all. Children's literature only reflects this to a slight extent, and this topic not pursued by publishers nearly as much as same-gender subjects are.
In fact, there are so many other issues that are so much more common for children than 2 parents of the same gender: eating disorders, ADHD, taking meds, family members with mental illness or personality disorders, domestic violence, relationship violence, cyberbullying, bullying in general...
So why the huge focus on this 3.5% (or less)?
Or, on a completely different topic, how about newspaper headlines that describe a terror attack as “Israeli gunman shoots Palestinian driver”—remember that one?
I could go on and on, but you probably have your own examples.
Styles come and go and you know what’s in style just by looking at what the masses are wearing. And even people who rebel against the mainstream styles end up conforming to the set styles of the “rebel” group (like punk and goth and “grunge”).
Depending on your social group, not conforming enough to the latest style can label you as “tacky” “out of it” “a loser” “a throwback” and so on. And that’s not to mention the sarcastic comments and questions thrown your way, either to your face or via Twitter.
For around 40 years now, Western fashion has objectified people’s bodies while telling them they are liberating them. Such fashion pressures people—particularly women—to dress in ways which are time-consuming, physically uncomfortable—even painful, emotionally uncomfortable, and demeaning.
Some frum communities have been successful in sheltering themselves against the influence of modern styles, but most do imitate the styles to some degree, even if those styles are clearly forbidden by halacha.
The accent common to California’s San Fernando Valley in the Eighties (which later became known as “the Valley Girl accent”) has become the de-facto style of speech for most Americans under the age of 50. It is one of the least intelligent-sounding ways of speaking, partly because the voice goes up at the end (including the end of a phrase, and not just the end of a sentence), which makes it sound like the speaker is in a constant state of uncertainty.
“Well, my personal feel-ing? is that a fetus at 8 weeks is just a clump of tis-sue? And you pointing out that, like, it has a heartbeat? And elbows? And a nose that can be seen in an ultrasound? just makes me feel bad? And I just think that you are….like…sooo—well, I don’t know, but that you hold such a crazy opinion? is very disturbing for me personally.”
Its higher pitch also gives it a more feminine inflection, making men sound particularly silly when they speak this way.
|Rewards & Punishments Used to Modify Behavior
Social media has been a powerful tool for this.
I think we all know by now that the label “racist” can end someone’s career, even if they aren’t racist and never said anything racist.
Just disagreeing with any of Obama’s policies is considered racist.
Speaking from personal experience, you cannot express (with even the greatest amount of grace and understanding) any opinion that diverges in any way with the standard liberal Western opinion—unless you are willing to suffer scorn, mockery, hostility, and hatred, either passive-aggressively or outright.
You must remain silent in the face of all their irrational and immoral comments—or suffer the consequences.
And that is just in interpersonal relationships on the individual level, let alone the widespread harassment prominent figures undergo if they dare cross the PC Line.
Yet even now, the mainstream media maintains a chokehold on what they want you to know and what they don’t want you to know.
- With the Obama candidacy, it was blatantly obvious that every news network and every mainstream newspaper desperately wanted Obama in the White House.
- As blatant as their adoration of Obama was, the media's support of Hillary Clinton was even more appalling. She actually has a well-documented, extremely public, and ugly record that shows her to be a sociopath at worst and a malignant narcissist at best. Yet mainstream media consistently portrays her in the best possible light.
- Rationally speaking, the fact that either side of the political aisle uncritically supports Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, despite the obvious hypocrisy and lying they all have consistently engaged in, shows how low (and braindead) America has sunk.
- Generally, interviews and talk shows cherry-pick their guests, then manipulate their discussions and edit their tapes to show Left-leaning views in the best light and Right-leaning views in the worst light.
- The mainstream coverage of Israel is appalling as endless examples show.
Cults outright lie.
One of the most famous lies in recent history is the “Hands up, don’t shoot” lie and the rose-tinted characterization of violent thug Mike Brown, who was thankfully shot to death by a skilled police officer before Mikey could victimize anymore innocent people.
The Left directly lies and misrepresent anything about Israel and often do the same regarding frum Jews.
Here are more lies:
- “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
- "If you like your health plan, you’ll be able to keep your health plan.”
- “Obama has been the best American president for Israel.”
- "Land for peace!"
|No Forgiveness or Tikkun
- People’s pasts (or past tweets and emails) are dug up and scrutinized.
- You aren’t allowed to change.
- The ugly side of yourself that peeped out during a traumatic incident or while caught up in the immaturity of childhood or adolescence is considered the real you, never to be forgotten.
- As a white person, you must always be compensating black people for the slavery that ended 151 years ago. Even if no one in your family was ever a slave owner (because maybe your family only arrived after the Civil War). Even if the black person never had ancestors who were slaves or if they did, they were slaves to other black people or owned slaves themselves (as several black Southerners did back then and in Africa today, still do).
You can never be sorry enough and can never stop atoning for your “sin,” no matter how much you’ve actually changed and what you’ve done to rectify things.
They advocate their own “sacred science.” One of the most obvious and murderous examples of this was eugenics during the Nazi Era.
But pseudo-science flourishes in American culture, too.
The cult-group’s beliefs are the ultimate unquestionable truth, despite clear scientific evidence to the contrary:
- Throughout its first trimester, an unborn baby is “just a clump of tissue,” despite widely available photographs and scientific evidence to the contrary.
- Global warming is happening right now, is manmade, is a threat, is stoppable, and is reversible.
- Same-gender attraction is genetically predetermined, and never influenced by one’s environment, and it's also completely irreversible.
- Mental states like depression, bi-polar disorder, personality disorders, paranoia, and ADD/HD are "just" issues of body chemistry and/or genetic predisposition in which environment, nutrition, upbringing, and traumatic experiences have very little or no influence.
- All white males possess something called “privilege,” which they must constantly “check” without fail.
- Hamas is just a group of freedom-fighting idealists.
- Muslims worldwide either tolerate, support, or actively engage in things like suicide bombings, child “marriage,” genocide, “honor” killings, FGM, domestic violence, the conquering of better nations, hand-amputations for thieves, slavery, Jew-hatred, oppressive fascist regimes, and the like only because they have not received enough compassion, understanding, and education.
- If you give the above Muslims compassion, understanding, and education, they will immediately realize the wrong of their ways and become just like you—whoever “you” are.
- Hillary Clinton is “pro-woman” and cares about anyone other than herself.
- Donald Trump is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and a religious man.
- Socialism is a great equalizer and the answer to society’s ills.
- Children don’t need fathers.
- A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
- Women are only good for one thing.
This is a little bit trickier to define because every society, profession, and culture naturally has its own jargon. But there is a difference between using jargon for convenience (like saying “ICU” instead of “intensive care unit” or “DA” instead of “district attorney”) or because it expresses your thoughts more clearly and accurately than any other term possibly could (like saying “davka” or “stam” or “geshmak” or "gevaldig").
On the other hand, buzzwords whitewash something bad or demonize something good or neutral.
In short, buzzwords are often created with ulterior motives in mind.
Here are some examples of buzz words:
- Baby-daddy (makes impregnating without marrying sound cute)
- Carbon footprint
- The n-word
- Transgendered male
- Undocumented immigrants
- Safe spaces
- The war on women
Just as an example of how buzzwords work:
“Diversity” technically means “diverse.”
But colloquially, it refers to culture or race (and sometimes to gender or orientation), and not political stance or intellectual opinion or anything else. And it doesn’t mean “diverse” at all since any Liberal who demands diversity only intends to expand the non-white population of a particular campus, company, or city.
For example, no one is anxious about the dearth of straight white males majoring in Women’s Studies.
No one is concerned that not enough Canadians or Swedes or Thais are immigrating to America.
|Black-and-White Thinking and One Sacred Version of Reality
Similar to sacred science, here are examples of “sacred reality” and black-and-white thinking:
- Only white people can be racists.
- Anyone who dislikes Obama’s policies, values, or taste in ties is a racist.
- Claiming that a statistic deemed racist is, in fact, not racist is actually a sign of racism.
- Any man who finds it difficult to take seriously or to concentrate around a professional woman dressed like a particularly risqué cocktail waitress when all her male colleagues are dressed in 2-piece suits and neck-strangling ties with shirts buttoned up to their chin (even if their neck is too short to carry it off elegantly, making them look like Mr. Potatohead) is a weak-minded pervert and a misogynist who needs to “just get over it” and “get with the times.”
- Any woman who feels the same as the man in the above example is just being “catty” because she is just “so jealous.”
- Not believing in evolution is exactly the same as not believing in math.
|Encouraging only “Proper” Ideas and Positive Thoughts
- Girls are permitted (or even obligated) to profess a desire to be a member of a certified and paid profession like: nannies, neonatal nurses or doctors, preschool teachers, chefs, hotel housekeeping supervisors, or to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education when they grow up. Yet they may NEVER NEVER EVER declare being a wife and mother as their main career goal. NEVER. That is bad. Such a girl is considered to suffer from a warped and poor self-image, and she probably needs therapy. Only official careers are acceptable goals.
- From sixth grade and onward, it is okay to engage in physical intimacy of any kind with anyone of any age (even if there is a significant age difference that may indicate exploitation, like a 14-year-old girl with a 22-year-old guy) and with an unlimited number of partners—as long as birth control is used. If either partner is particularly free with themselves or they only just met, then the birth control should be of the kind that lessens the spread of unsavory diseases.
- However, if anyone under the age of 25 indicates a desire to do something that actually signifies and facilitates genuinely responsible and mature behavior, such as the desire to enter into a monogamous lifelong relationship with only one person (i.e. “marriage”), then that desire is considered irresponsible, rash, and a cause for panic. People who actually want to get married before the age of 25 likely have “issues” and need to examine why they are “in such a rush” to do something that has “permanent consequences” and is “so limiting.”
- People who seem unhappy or emotionally sensitive (by whose definition?) likely suffer from a chemical imbalance that needs to be medicated.
- Energetic children—particularly male children who display normal healthy male qualities and tendencies—likely suffer from a chemical imbalance that needs to be medicated.
- On the other hand, people who seem too happy are kind of weird, too, and need to “calm down.” Medication is also good for that.
- Positive thinking can enable you to “manifest” whatever you want.
Such techniques are another way to allow only the “right” kind of thoughts. These techniques include:
- Denial (“The Marmara flotilla held only peace-loving pacifists; why did the Israelis send armed commandos?”)
- Rationalization (“She was asking for it.”)
- Justification (“It’s okay because he had a bad childhood” or "I had a bad day")
- Wishful thinking (“If we relentlessly police people for ‘micro-aggressions,’ we’ll be able to stamp out racism completely!”)
- Chanting (“Hope and change!” “Hands up, don’t shoot!” “Just think positive!” “We are the 99%!” “Europe is the cancer, Islam is the answer!” “Just say no!”)
- Meditation, singing or humming (I had a friend who did consistently this whenever she felt someone was being too "intense" or "negative"—it was really annoying and disorienting), praying (I disagree with this, obviously. I guess it depends how and to Whom), etc.
Other thought-stopping techniques forbid rational analysis, critical thinking, or constructive criticism, and forbid questions critical of their leader, policy, or doctrine (“That’s racist!” "That's insensitive!").
- Alternative belief systems are considered evil, illegitimate, or useless.
- The idea that a woman needs a husband, or that fathers are actually just as important as mothers in a child’s emotional and spiritual development is considered denigrating toward women and downright insulting toward single mothers.
- Feeling remorse after an abortion is considered merely a normal albeit unnecessary part of the post-abortion phase. Society will insist that a post-abortion woman plagued with remorse or depression needs meds or therapy—NOT to help her to deal with and rectify what she did—but to simply overcome these feelings, which are actually normal reactions to doing an act that harms both yourself and others.
- Feeling good about publicly humiliating someone—as long as your comment was truly witty and your target “deserved it”—is perfectly fine.
- In many circles, wanting to stay home with your baby long-term and not wanting to leave the baby with a babysitter signifies unhealthy attachment.
- Feeling uncomfortable around vulgar language means you are repressed and uptight.
|It’s Your Fault, Never the Group or Leader’s Fault
Poor employment, rampant immorality, increased mental illness, increasing violence, poor health, bad habits, addictions, failing schools….?
- It has nothing to do with your surrounding culture.
- It’s just you. (Or the influence of the enemy: the right-wing conservatives.)
- After 8 years of Obama, America’s problems were still the fault of George Bush. That’s how bad Bush was; even a talented wunderkind like Obama still couldn’t fix things. Or stop them from getting worse. So if you voted for Bush...
|Instill Feelings of Guilt or Unworthiness
Cults want you to feel guilty about your identity, history, family, past, affiliations, and your behaviors. This keeps you dependent on them. Cult members and leaders toss out superficial platitudes (in particular, platitudes that may contain a grain of truth within their one-size-fits-all slop) in place of the kind of self-introspection that can lead to genuine self-discovery and self-transformation.
- All white males must “check” their “privilege.”
- You must constantly be on the lookout for racism within yourself.
- You are from a dysfunctional family and were raised by toxic parents.
- You are "manspreading." (Another buzzword!)
- It’s what you’re eating, it’s allergies, it’s chemicals—food is your enemy.
- If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
- You need to feel ashamed of being wealthy or successful; it's not fair to others who aren't as lucky.
- Your opinion is worth innately less than that of a college graduate or an individual with a higher degree or a degree from a more prestigious institution, regardless of your actual knowledge and experience. (Usually implied rather than stated outright.)
- It’s your attitude—you’ve got a bad attitude.
- You just don’t want it enough.
- You unconsciously attract losers and kooks.
- You just need to get over it/him/her/them/yourself.
- You really need meds.
- You're just being close-minded. Or intolerant.
- It's your genetic predisposition.
Note: Maybe you are from a dysfunctional family or allergic to certain foods or are close-minded. But is that the only reason why things don't seem right? And can Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump or Prozac or college or socialism really fix those issues?
(And just for knowing: Genes can be activated or deactivated, depending on one's behavior.)
A very effective way of keeping people trapped in a cult and to keep them from even wanting to leave is to instill fear.
Disapproval, shaming, mocking, and character assassination are all weapons of the Left to maintain control. This is done at a national level through the media, of course, but it is also done at a personal level.
Like some of you, I have been personally mocked or sneered at when "liberal, open-minded" friends or family members discovered appalling things about me like:
- I see that scientific research clearly indicates a Master Designer.
- I didn’t let my kids use the Internet.
- I support Efrat, the Israeli pro-life organization that is genuinely pro-woman and does so much to support families, extending to long after the baby is born.
- I have more than three children.
And in case you're wondering, I never went around on a soapbox proclaiming my views. It just came up nonchalantly in conversation at times when I forgot who I was talking to and that I am not “allowed” to express such views (or act in such a way).
A Typical Example of Auto-Pilot Fear Instillation
Once, a successful secular Jewish female doctor asked me what I wanted to do when I graduated from high school.
I immediately felt very apprehensive because I knew my answer was not acceptable to people like her. But I felt even more uncomfortable about lying. So I tentatively said, “Um, well, I’m thinking about being a nurse, I guess.”
She recoiled as if I had said, “Um, well, I’m thinking about moving to a gingerbread house to become a cannibalistic witch, like the one in Hansel and Gretel.”
After she collected herself, she calmly said, “And why would you want to do that?”
“Um, well....I’d like to help people....ease suffering....well, actually, I don’t know for sure that I want to be a nurse. I just feel like it’s a caring profession and I’d like to work in a caring profession.”
Even to my own ears, my words—decent values in my own mind—sounded so nurturing, so feminine....which didn’t bother me at all, but I knew that it bothered other people. Like secular female Jewish doctors who grew up in the Fifties.
“So why don’t you be a doctor?” she asked with forced nonchalance.
Uh-oh. The dread and apprehension welled up within my teenage self once again. “Well,” I said, “the thing is...I’m not so good in math...”
Her jaw hardened and her shoulders stiffened. Steam started coming out of her nostrils. (Well, no, that didn’t happen. But it looked like it might.)
Yet I forced myself to continue because I really wanted her to understand that it wasn’t that I merely thought I couldn’t become a doctor due to being a brainwashed victim of wonky gender stereotypes, but that I genuinely couldn’t become a doctor.
“Um, I’m not so good at science, either....” I explained. “And I don’t really want to be in college for eight years.”
After a cold pause, she said, “I see.”
Can you imagine the same kind of conversation between two men?
Picture a successful male high school English teacher talking to a male teenager:
“What do you want to do when you graduate?”
“Well, I’d like to be a PE (physical education) teacher.”
“Oh, yeah? Huh. Why do you want to do that?”
“Well, I like to work with kids. And I’d like to foster good sportsmanship and other important values I feel you can teach kids through baseball.”
“So why don’t you become a high school English teacher?” (The implication being that important values can also be taught through analyzing English literature and class discussion. Plus, students hone important writing skills.)
Realizing that teaching baseball isn’t nearly as prestigious as teaching English literature, the teen boy answers, “Well, my verbal ability stinks and I’m not so good with language arts. And as a normal healthy boy misdiagnosed with ADHD, I really don’t want to spend my whole day cooped up in a classroom.”
“Yeah, I get that. Cool.” (Meaning, “I understand that teaching English is really not for everyone. It’s good that you’re planning for a career that suits your individual needs and plays your strengths.”)
Or maybe, if he’s a snarky fellow, the English teacher will make a snide comment about thick-headed jocks—but not because he feels the teen boy must break out of gender stereotypes, but because the English teacher was once a socially and athletically inept geek and enjoys the opportunity he now has to take potshots at the athletes he used to envy.
What's the difference?
With women, there is a gender-based agenda imposed on society.
Note: The female doctor above obviously intended to be helpful. She clearly thought that I was under some kind of mind-programming and genuinely wanted to help me out of it--just like cult members who want to "help" others by "enlightening" them and recruiting them to their cult's ideology. She wasn't thinking; she was making knee-jerk assumptions based on her own brainwashed notions. I experienced her response as disempowering and repressive, even though she clearly meant to empower and "liberate" me. But she couldn't respond appropriately due to living on the auto-pilot induced by mind control.
This was really common in the Eighties. You had people all over the place proclaiming they were an alcoholic, a pot addict, bulimic, anorexic, had been abused, etc. And this openness was considered something to aspire to. You were supposed to be completely open about all your faults and anything traumatic that had happened to you.
Then people realized this wasn’t so beneficial as they could not rid themselves of that initial impression of them as a recovering alcoholic and no more than that.
Yet today there are still vestiges of that. You are supposed to be really open about if you have a mental illness (well, not any mental illness—just the socially acceptable ones, like depression or an eating disorder, etc.) or ADD/HD or a learning disability or an addiction.
A lot of social media has a confession aspect to it as people post so many details of their lives and moods for everyone to see.
There are many, many more examples of the above aspects of mind control as you've likely thought of yourself.
THE BENEFITS OF MIND CONTROL
But temporary comforts and assurances do exist, just like they do in any abusive relationship.
- A cult can sporadically provide a warm, accepting atmosphere.
- A feeling of togetherness and caring also exists in cults.
- The methods they offer may actually work temporarily.
- It can be a relief to know exactly what you need to do to earn approval
- It can be comfortable or reassuring not have to think for yourself.
- Staying feels safer than leaving.
For example, the cult of Communism provided people with fewer choices, which resulted in less stress during a decision-making process. They never suffered from “information-overload” (although they suffered from other things instead).
Russian immigrants who came to America initially had to deal with a “choice-overload,” even in very routine situations such as grocery shopping.
Furthermore, people from Communist countries initially miss the freebies to which they were used—like health care and schooling—even if the freebies were inferior in quality or quantity to non-freebies in a democratic country or came at a much higher emotional price.
STRIVE TO LIVE WITH EMUNA TO AVOID LIVING ON AUTO-PILOT
(Although some women did, anyway, even before the feminist movement came along.)
Forced immersion (via the expanding entertainment media and educational system) in a post-WWII mind control culture made them susceptible to the later cult of feminism (among other forms of mind control), which actually has made things much worse for women (as I’ll explain in a future post), although most women are unable to see this due to the effects of auto-pilot-induced mind control.
In the frum world, many frum women either:
- intone the benefits feminism brought (despite the fact that these benefits started before the official feminist movement and would've happened anyway without the official feminist movement, albeit possibly at a slower--and likely healthier--pace); this response is short-sighted, but does make a lot of sense on the surface. With a certain amount of discomfort, I used to hold this view myself until I became more educated.
- verbally disparage the feminist movement while simultaneously living up to a frum version of the feminist ideal; this hypocritical and bizarre response is obviously the result of poor self-awareness and "auto-pilot" mode.
Unfortunately, some frum communities unknowingly behave in accordance with mind control. Well-meaning community leaders or school principals can also unintentionally encourage a mind-control dynamic simply because they don’t know better.
It just feels right.
Note: In my experience, chinuch courses for parents are particularly susceptible to this. So when you, as a parent, are choosing a chinuch consultant or class, please be extra alert.
That also applies to those chinuch hotlines you can call.
|Signs of Mind Control that Affect the Frum Community
Within the frum community, the best way to avoid living on auto-pilot is to look at the attitude toward halacha and Torah hashkafah, both as evidenced by the community leaders and the community members—then make sure that you are not doing the following:
- Are minhagim emphasized—even subtly—over mainstream halacha? Are Torah-true attitudes dismissed or ignored or even replaced? (i.e. If the same attitude can be found in most Sagely writings regardless of culture or time period and despite limited exposure to other Sagely works, it is likely a Torah-true attitude.)
- Can their opinions and methods be backed up by Torah sources?
- If they do base their methods on a minority opinion, do they have solid mainstream opinions for allowing themselves to go according to the minority opinion?
- Are they taking texts out of context and twisting things around to support their views?
- Is what they do what Chazal actually intended? (i.e., When Chazal said that a kosher wife does the will of her husband, did they really mean that she must wear miniskirts and Vegas showgirl sheitels if that’s what her dear husband desires? Or that she most enslave herself to his whims if that's what he wants?)
- Are halachically forbidden social mores, behaviors, clothing styles, etc., rationalized to make them seem "okay"?
It doesn’t mean you go on the warpath against such individuals or groups (unless they are overtly and severely harmful) because such people are rarely acting with evil intentions (as is true of most cult adherents). In fact, they usually mean well.
People often misunderstand a clear halachic directive due to their emotional blocks, and not out of a desire to manipulate or cause harm.
But even if they don't have good intentions, battling them directly usually awakens sympathy in others due to the Flying Monkey syndrome (again, see the Kli Yakar), which is also the result of mind control.
And anyway, it is nearly impossible to wake them up until they start waking up themselves.
Davening is the best solution to helping others.
This is more of a clean-up-your-own-backyard-first issue.
You can't really know someone else's mission and their journey to get there.
Just as one example, there are Tribal tendencies and we do not know what Tribe we descend from. We know that Asher is occupied with the olive industry, Yissachar with Torah-learning, Levi with musical service to Hashem, Zevulun with sea-based mercantilism and supporting Yissachar, and so on.
Should, for example, Yissachar be imposing his Tribal tendency onto Asher?
No, of course that's wrong.
How to Free Yourself from Mind Control
- Recite Pitum Haketoret daily with as much kavanah as you can.
- Recite Tehillim 15 (to destroy a demon), 80 (to be saved from worshiping false gods), 135 (to be saved from thoughts of avodah zara), and 5, 29, 40, 86, 91, 101 (all these protect against "ruach ra'ah"—an evil spirit)
- Talk to Hashem daily.
- Do a regular self-accounting using genuine self-introspection.
- Investigate what the halacha really says and really means.
- Recognize that it's hard enough figuring out your own journey, let alone knowing exactly what others need to do (or how they need to do it).
- Respond to all events with emuna as much as you can (i.e. look for the message in hardships while expressing gratitude for the good things).
- Accept that you can't always have full knowledge or closure immediately, but that these things do come with time (although some issues will only receive full understanding in the World of Truth, and not in This World).
you automatically open it to God.
And when you open your mind to God,
you automatically close it to mind control.
Here are some sources to start off with:
This site is particularly valuable as she cites the differences between a healthy religious value system and a cult.
This describes the different reasons people a cult and the 10 stages of the withdrawal process. Based on my own experience and conversations with others, this process describes a lot of what baalei teshuvah, converts, and bnai Noach undergo when adapting a Torah-true outlook and lifestyle. This seems particularly true of gerim and bnai Noach who withdraw from Christianity.
Unfortunately, this list refers to Christian-based cults and considers Christianity as the ideal non-cult state. (Ha!) But I couldn’t find an unbiased list of stages. So as you read through the stages, you can just mentally replace “scripture” with “CNN” or “college class” or “Liberal.” And you can replace “church” with “political party.” And replace any reference to Christianity with “God” or “monotheism” or “Torah,” and you have something that describes the process of leaving Esav or Yishmael and embracing Torah Judaism.
This post relied heavily on the structure of the BITE model, but didn’t include everything. So this is the BITE model in its entirety.
These are helpful because they also focus on secular cults (like a self-help cult), while most cult awareness articles focus on religious cults.
My disclaimer on the above sources is that anything they say that conflicts with halacha, I obviously do not support.